Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Thousand Israel Supporters Turn Out to "Battle for Truth" Rally in Vancouver


Roughly a thousand people turned up at the sprawling Schara Tzedeck Synagogue on Oak St. in Vancouver on Thursday evening to a high security – no purse or back pack got through the door unexamined -- “Community Solidarity Gathering for Israel”. Some in the overflow crowd at the rally organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver were turned away. There was simply no more room. Even the balcony was jam-packed.


“There is a battle for truth,” speaker Dr. James Lunney, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Committee, told the crowd.

Loud applause.

“Hamas fired more than 450 rockets into Israel in the week leading up to Israel’s response”, Lunney said. The Canadian government sees the conflict this way: “Hamas is responsible for the current crisis.”

You won’t find the current Conservative Canadian government in the middle of the road on the Israeli-Gaza conflict, Lunney explained. Being the MP for Nanaimo-Alberni on Vancouver Island, he used a forestry industry analogy: If you’re driving along the road and you turn a corner and see a logging truck coming toward you, the last place you want to be is in the middle of the road. Laughter. On the Israeli-Hamas conflict, Lunney said, “The middle of the road is neither a right place or a safe place.”

Yet the middle of the road is exactly where past Canadian governments have been, Lunney said. They have taken a “moral equivalence” approach to the two sides in Israeli-Palestinian tensions, “condemning neither, supporting neither”. That’s over. “The Canadian government sees no moral equivalence between Israel, a vibrant if imperfect democracy, and Hamas…”, Lunney said. He described Hamas as “terrorists who use military aggression…using their neighbors, including women and children as shields.”


Like Lunney, grade 12 student Igal Raich sees the Israel-Hamas conflict as a battle for truth. There was one lie Raich was particularly eager to set the record straight on when he took the podium: “Israel does not intentionally kill women and children but attacks rocket launchers. But they [Hamas] are using women and children as human shields.”

Raich, who announced that he will be joining the Israel Defense Forces when he graduates this year, is a product of the David Project at King David school in Vancouver. “The David project empowers us to confront and respond to anti-Israel bias”, he said. In the Project, students are taught “historical accuracy, moral decision-making, and activism.”

Raich went to the anti-Israel demonstration in downtown Vancouver on Dec. 29th. “I didn’t go to cheer them on”, he said. “I went to protest against the continual bombardment of Southern Israel by Hamas.”

A giant video screen at the front of the room allowed the crowd to see speakers, including Anglican Reverend Dr. Richard Leggett who said they had been told to "keep it short".

Setting the record straight was also a goal of Dr. Michael Elterman, Chair of the Pacific Region Canada Israel Committee. Claims made about Israel in the media, he said, are too often “ill-informed and intellectually lazy”. He saw the claim that Israel is contributing to a “cycle of violence” as a prime example. “It confuses the pyromaniac with the firefighter.”

Another on the long list of claims Elterman challenged was that Israel is using “disproportionate force”. “Israel under reacted for 8 years,” he said, “which only acted to encourage Hamas.”

The dearth of balanced reporting on the Israel-Hamas conflict was a problem that Elterman saw as extending to anti-Israel protesters – including the fifteen or so standing on the sidewalk outside. As Israel supporters entered the rally, protesters had stood on the sidewalk loudly chanting, “Hey, hey, Israel! How many people have you killed today!” Elterman asked the crowd, “Where were the protesters outside tonight when Israeli civilians were being terrorized and rocketed for eight years?” When you leave tonight, he urged, “Ask them.”


The Vancouver rally was one of several held in major cities across Canada on Thursday evening. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud spoke to the rally via a pre-taped video. He explained that in response to Hamas “firing rockets, missiles, and mortar shells directly into population centers”, Israel was pressed to act to ensure the “security and safety” of it’s citizens. “This is what Canada would have done for the people living in Toronto”.


After the rally, which ended with a “Song of Peace”, the anti-Israel protesters were nowhere to be seen outside. But uniformed police were everywhere.


Program

To read the speakers list from the rally, enlarge the photo below by clicking on it.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The case that you're making is undermined by the very horror that this war has brought upon the people of Gaza. It's in the faces of the young children who clung to their dead parents for days as the IDF prevented the Red Cross from entering into a bombed out area. It's in the words of Chris Dunness a UN representaive on the gound in Gaza who has condemned the offensive and ponted out that Israel has been targetting civilians. It's in the grotesque body count of over 900 Palestinians dead. Those who advocate sheeling those in Gaza, who have no where to escape, are signing onto a policy which has been practiced by generations of Israeli politicians--to make life so unbeareable, to harrass, maim aand kill a population into subserviance instead of acknowledging the rigths and hisotry of Palestinians. It has been a brutal policy and it is now one that threatens to turn Gaza into a lawless, unliveable slum cut off from the outside world.

This is a morally bamkrupt policy which will ultimately fail.

Dag said...

I don't quote Nietzsche very often but this line from The Genealogy of Morals sums up the phony objections above:

"[T]hat cheapest of all propaganda tricks, the moral attitude."

Phony. The commentator above is a fake. There's nothing to respond to.

Chilled said...

Note to self; Never vote for Lunny. (Yes, I live in his riding)

truepeers said...

There may be nothing to respond to when people are so completely divorced from reality, but this divorce needs to be pointed out. Unfortunately, there are many people who won't know how nuts the above comment is, because anon is ritualistically fitting Israel into an old myth of evil, one in which only one nation has a share. I don't think the above is a "trick": it's the sign of someone who simply lives in a fantasy... as if Israelis want a gaggle of "subservient" Arabs to look after. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Because these people are too divorced from reality to see that they are actively encouraging the fantasy that just gets more people killed - fantasy life always leaves people humiliated by reality and lashing out in all kinds of unproductive ways - someone needs to say: You are the problem, you smug self-righteous fool. Get clue: you are evil in your insufferable sanctimony that positively needs a parade of dead bodies for you to shake your head at and feel so above.

Dag said...

We encountered a gaggle of university student this evening while out for dinner. Amidst their ruckus four females stood up and played "patty-cake" together. It's a game mothers play with babies. this pases for entertainment amog young adults these days in public places, restaurants where people have to pay adult money for an adult experience of reasonable dining. But the minds that dine are those of -- babies. Not mothers, not kids, but babies.

I see the same in a phrase like this: "It's in the faces of the young children who clung to their dead parents for days...."

Now how can an adult write such a thing? No shame? No intelligence? The anon commentator above is so dull in the mind and so barren in emotion that she/he "feels" she must resort to the most obvious ploy of sentimentality; and I was surprised that by the end of this prosy rubbish she didn't also describe the pity she felt at seeing sad-eyed kittens painted on black velvet, the kitten gently pawing a ball of string, the string tied to our hearts, yank, yank. This base level of sentimentality is what passes for intelligence, for emotion, for reality in some and too many of our fellows. Phoniness for those who never have real experiences in life and who are so sheltered from life they have to conjure up emotions from nothing at all and the newspaper. Phony. And yet, thanks to this kind of evil philistine, real people must die to keep the emptiness from being maddening altogether. Phony and evil.

Anonymous said...

It's actually your lack of remourse, callous indiffernce to the suffering in Gaza of which we are complicit in, your inability to imagine what your own fate would have been like had geography made it so that you were born there, your need to externalise evil and your repition of cliche meant to disguise and gloss over complex historical and political realities which in fact needs to be criticised. It needs to be more than criticised, it must be condemned outed and isolated. Israel is in fact no better or worse than other socities which have been build on mythologies which conveniently provide them the rationale for dominating and exploiting another people. It is the shame of historic sufferting which, as Jacqueline Rose points, out, tranforms into self righeous vengeance where violence becomes a narcotic. What Israel is doing now in continuing a set of policies which render Palestinian ife unbeareable and inmevitably prodice resistance some of it nin violent other kinds morally repugnant. Those who put on the blinders like you two do no one any favours. It's time you changed your approach

Dag said...

"It's actually your lack of remorse, callous indifference to the suffering...."

This simpering appeal to emotion was empty to start, and now there's more. It's still empty, and so due to the shallowness of the emotion of the anon. writer above. Emotion, to have any validity, requires intelligence, otherwise it's as above, a childish exercise in self-indulgence for the sake only of the writer. This is why it is referred to as "moral idiocy." There is no genuine emotion in the anon. writer above.

"suffering in Gaza of which we are complicit in,..."

Self-assumed collective guilt is a sentimentality and a pose of those who have no genuine feeling for those beyond themselves. It's a moralistic pose rather than a moral position. It's a quasi-Christian pose by one uninformed by Christianity. It is, as many of us now refer to as Gnostic, in this situation. That, in my opinion is to elevate this cheap pose beyond its just desserts.

No, collective guilt is not part of the Human condition. Even St. Augustine at his most abrasive had the sense to dismiss that. Communalist herd-people might well love the self-indulgence of collective guilt, but adult individuals rightly and instantly dismiss it as a childish pose.

"[Y]our inability to imagine what your own fate would have been like had geography made it so that you were born there,...

Yes, always the barren mind turns to determinism. This pseudo-religious determinism is revolting. It demands Dear Leader and his experts to solve all problems for all times, the End of History, the eschatological vision of the High Gnostic. And let us weep tears for the tv cameras while we're on the screen so people can see our most demonstrated "feelings."

Well, not for me. I've been there, I know real people there, and I know that they would slap you senseless for diminishing their suffering for your own self-indulgent desires to be seen as -- feeling? Sharing? Caring? A total phony. A Sunday school nanny berating those mistakenly thought of as children. It doesn't work on adults. It's a sham and a phony and disgusting pose. shame on you, if only you could even feel that much. Back to your velvet painting for a good weep. Make sure to leave the door open so others can see you.

truepeers said...

It is precisely because we know Gaza is a hell hole that we feel such repugnance for those who mindlessly encourage the Arab resentment at the fact that Israel has existed and prospered for sixty years. That resentment, like guilt, like all resentment and all guilt, is delusional, whatever seed of genuine injustice from which it springs. When you are full of resentment or guilt you cannot think clearly on the nature of resentment or guilt; it is delusional. The last thing ISrael wants is to dominate Arabs; they clearly don't want to have responsibility for them, who would?

Delusional people do things like encourage war lord tyrants who prosper from war and convincing desperate and resentful people that they have no hope as long as Israel exists. There can only be holy war. When Israel is a lot stronger than you, this is a recipe for endless suffering. It is the height of irresponsibility in government. People who can't come to terms with basic facts about reality, e.g. that Israelis intend to continue as a nation and defend themselves and not wait for bigger bombs to be thrown at them, reap the whirlwind. Those who encourage them by provding an adoring audience for pictures of victims, so that they can slink about in their comfortable lives and appear moral righteous sicken me. You positively encourage the Palestinian fantasy and all the suffering that goes with it. How about trying to encourage responsible government among Palestinians, the kind of government that could accept the reality of Israel and not pine for some impossible return to a golden past. Do something real and difficult for a change.

wilfr said...

Dag and truepeers,

It certainly sounds like you both really know what is right about this conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I have to say though, leaving aside that I couldn't argue with either of you, or anon for that matter, about the facts or the history, the tone of your answers to anon strike me as the same kind of anger, hatred, disgust and "moral attitude", that seems to be at least a part of the problem with the two sides.

Truepeers, with respect to your last suggestion to anon, maybe if everyone did a little more of the real and difficult work of looking more closely at our own motivations for needing to include moral outrage when exchanging viewpoints, it may help to encourage a more reasoned response from the likes of anon and others who disagree with us. I can't see that what either you or Dag have expressed here has done anything other than to aggravate the possibility for serious dialogue. Certainly I saw nothing that may give anon something to ponder, rather than respond in kind to, and anything I may have been educated by was obscured by the hostility I sensed.

I say this with the greatest of respect for you both, as I have followed your writings to some degree and have met you both in person on at least one occasion. I know enough from those occasions to know that in matters of substance like this one, you are both well-versed in the details, committed and serious people, and it would be pointless to try to join the debate, other than on the point I'm trying to make.

I read a lot of blogs, but I rarely comment. I appreciate what I learn from bloggers like Dag and truepeers, and I hope my comment is understood as being made with only good intentions.

Anonymous said...

The state terror unleashed from the skies and on the ground against the Gaza Strip as we speak has nothing to do with Hamas. It has nothing to do with “Terror”. It has nothing to do with the long-term “security” of the Jewish State or with Hizbullah or Syria or Iran except insofar as it is aggravating the conditions that have led up to this crisis today. It has nothing to do with some conjured-up “war” – a cynical and overused euphemism that amounts to little more the wholesale enslavement of any nation that dares claim its sovereign rights; that dares assert that its resources are its own; that doesn’t want one of the Empire’s obscene military bases sitting on its cherished land.

This crisis has nothing to do with freedom, democracy, justice or peace. It is not about Mahmoud Zahhar or Khalid Mash’al or Ismail Haniyeh. It is not about Hassan Nasrallah or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These are all circumstantial players who have gained a role in the current tempest only now that the situation has been allowed for 61 years to develop into the catastrophe that it is today. The Islamist factor has colored and will continue to color the atmosphere of the crisis; it has enlisted the current leaders and mobilized wide sectors of the world’s population. The primary symbols today are Islamic – the mosques, the Qur’an, the references to the Prophet Muhammad and to Jihad. But these symbols could disappear and the impasse would continue.

There was a time when Fatah and the PFLP held the day; when few Palestinians wanted anything to do with Islamist policies and politics. Such politics have nothing to do with primitive rockets being fired over the border, or smuggling tunnels and black-market weapons; just as Arafat’s Fatah had little to do with stones and suicide bombings. The associations are coincidental; the creations of a given political environment. They are the result of something entirely different than what the lying politicians and their analysts are telling you. They have become part of the landscape of human events in the modern Middle East today; but incidentals wholly as lethal, or as recalcitrant, deadly, angry or incorrigible could just as soon have been in their places.

Strip away the clichés and the vacuous newspeak blaring out across the servile media and its pathetic corps of voluntary state servants in the Western world and what you will find is the naked desire for hegemony; for power over the weak and dominion over the world’s wealth. Worse yet you will find that the selfishness, the hatred and indifference, the racism and bigotry, the egotism and hedonism that we try so hard to cover up with our sophisticated jargon, our refined academic theories and models actually help to guide our basest and ugliest desires. The callousness with which we in indulge in them all are endemic to our very culture; thriving here like flies on a corpse.

Strip away the current symbols and language of the victims of our selfish and devastating whims and you will find the simple, impassioned and unaffected cries of the downtrodden; of the ‘wretched of the earth’ begging you to cease your cold aggression against their children and their homes; their families and their villages; begging you to leave them alone to have their fish and their bread, their oranges, their olives and their thyme; asking you first politely and then with increasing disbelief why you cannot let them live undisturbed on the land of their ancestors; unexploited, free of the fear of expulsion; of ravishment and devastation; free of permits and roadblocks and checkpoints and crossings; of monstrous concrete walls, guard towers, concrete bunkers, and barbed wire; of tanks and prisons and torture and death. Why is life without these policies and instruments of hell impossible?

truepeers said...

I don't know Wilf; my tone was quite intentional, not pure emotion. It seems to me there is a time for deferring passion in order to engage people in conversations that can reveal more of reality to ourselves. And there is a time for judging evil when either there is no hope for serious conversation or when the basic human imperatives for justice are so strong as to demand someone be cast out. Maybe I have not made the right choice, but I doubt we can make a good argument that we should always be liberal and listen to the other side. Sometimes evil needs to be put down. No one likes those times, but they do come.

It seems to me that encouraging people who foster war with a more powerful neighbor as a way of life, as the only "answer" they can see to their predicament, and who then go hide among civilians when the fire is returned, are evil and so are those in the West who give support of various kinds to that behaviour.

Israel is a country that has often tried to talk and to defer violence. To portray them as bloodthirsty is a great lie, especially in comparison to those on a mission to Islamize the world. To suggest Israel wants to be forever in charge of the Palestinians is a lie. But even such a country as Israel sometimes has to choose war. It is not fair to imply that the human race has yet evolved so as to make war unnecessary; it is still at times a necessary evil, and of course it is evil. We haven't evolved beyond war and holding Israel to some Utopian standard is just a way of saying they don't have a right to defend themselves, to kill, to maintain their existence. It's to say, we don't like Jews, they are too successful, strong, pushy, etc. And when this Utopianism comes from people who ignore much greater violence in the non-Western world, it amounts to little more than a self-destructive death wish for modern civilization. That kind of evil can be debated at times; but at times it also needs to be simply identified as evil, and humiliated in public.

I appreciate that there are many people who remain uncertain what to think about Israel. But those of us who have been pondering the question for some time cannot be expected to forever defer our conclusions, a forever defer our calling out of evil. There is much information out there for those who want to find it and consider the history from various perspectives. But life and death for some go on in the meantime. And endless talk among people safely sheltered, for now, is not always the appropriate response to the killing. Some people's actions are not conducive to ending the killing however much it comes dressed up in the language of "peace". Sometimes bad guys need to be defeated not sustained and emboldened in an endless "process".

Sure we could be wrong about who is the bad guy, but we only learn and grow in history by making such mistakes with real consequences. I think those who romanticize barbarians have to be shown the blood of their mistakes. They want to show me mine. Fine, I know I have blood on my hands. I know I have my share in human evil (not "collective guilt"). Frankly, I think that makes for more humble and responsible personhood than with those who pander as if they are better , as if it is only Israel with blood on its hands. That's just mindless scapegoating. I'm not against the Palestinians in all imaginable conditions; as long as they support Hamas and the like they are going to suffer (even if they succeed in destroying Israel, since Israel still gives them a lot of aid and is the model for a modern economy and society in the Middle East). But if they ever develop responsible government that can negotiate modern reality and not the fantasy of pushing Israel out of existence, and returning to some medieval Islamic age, then I'll say: talk. But to get there, it seems people are going to have to suffer and become ever more intolerant of the thugs who draw fire onto civilians, the thugs who preach an Islamic vision that allows only one answer to the question of Israel and modernity. The Palestinians live in a huge and dangerous fantasy about Israel. Talk alone can't pierce that given the number of people helping to blow that fantasy up; hard reality has to play its part. And that includes people refusing to talk with evil lies knowing full well that the refusal entails war and suffering. But it is reasonable to think that sometimes a little war and suffering is the only possible alternative to a lot more war and suffering. That's why we do it; and not because we are some senseless evil that needs to change its blind ways at the behest of sheltered fantasists scapegoating the lesser evil and preaching "peace".

truepeers said...

Strip away the clichés and the vacuous newspeak blaring out across the servile media and its pathetic corps of voluntary state servants in the Western world and what you will find is the naked desire for hegemony; for power over the weak and dominion over the world’s wealth. Worse yet you will find that the selfishness, the hatred and indifference, the racism and bigotry, the egotism and hedonism that we try so hard to cover up with our sophisticated jargon, our refined academic theories and models actually help to guide our basest and ugliest desires. The callousness with which we in indulge in them all are endemic to our very culture; thriving here like flies on a corpse.

-I'm sorry but this is complete and utter bullshit, the tortured world view of someone who thinks all history can be explained by conspiracy and will to power. I know this is what is widely taught in universities, but it is stil bullshit for all the academic dress. It is a world view that has nothing to do with how truly modern people in a free global economy think and act. Israel would like nothing more than stable, prosperous, self-ruling Arab nations with which it could interact. Trade, the division of labour, in the modern economy is not a zero-sum game where one can only prosper at the expense of another. Rather one can only prosper when one has productive others with whom to interact.

To say Israel or America wants hegemony, domination, is pure fantasy. American military might serves to maintain a global economy where resources are distributed through open auctions where anyone can participate, as long as they have money, which can only come from sustained commitment to the ways of modernity and not by seeking blackmail by calling the rich evil hegemenons.

Who has time for primitive desires to dominate and humliate when you are trying to live the modern life. Those who claim it knos far less about succssful modern Westerners than they do about their own sick fantasies which they pin on others. It is much better when your neighbors can take care of themselve without ever needing to focus the resentments of their internal failure on an external scapegoat, or "hegemon".

This comment is so deluded. It requires less discussion of its premises than a response that can help the author understand the nature of human delusion. If the author wants to understnad the nature of delusion more, I can help. But I can't take this nonsense seriously, however many Ph.D.s preach it.

Dag said...

"Strip away the clichés and the vacuous new-speak blaring out across the servile media and its pathetic corps of voluntary state servants in the Western world, and what you will find is the naked desire for hegemony; for power over the weak and dominion over the world's wealth. Worse yet, you will find that the selfishness, the hatred and indifference, the racism and bigotry, the egotism and hedonism that we try so hard to cover up with our sophisticated jargon, our refined academic theories and models actually help to guide our basest and ugliest desires. The callousness with which we in indulge in them all are endemic to our very culture; thriving here like flies on a corpse.

Strip away the boiler-late purple prose and still we find the same tired pose from a posturing fool who wants attention. My anger is directed not at anything more than the pornographic self-display here.

Look at the rhythmic phrasing:

"Strip away the cliches... Strip away the current symbols..." and you'll see the naked self-indulgence of a self-hypnotized drunkard, awash in pseudo-emotion. There is nothing real in this at all, Wilf, and that is my true objection to this filthy display.

"[T]he simple, impassioned and unaffected cries of the downtrodden; of the 'wretched of the earth' begging you to cease your cold aggression against their children and their homes; their families and their villages; begging you to leave them alone to have their fish and their bread, their oranges, their olives and their thyme;..."

And la-la-la.

This is the expression of a woman who feels nothing for real Human beings-- other than herself; and it is disgusting because she uses real people as props for her Sadean phantasies. Look at this improbable reference to the psychotic racist, Franz Fanon: " 'wretched of the earth.' " Wink, wink. She's so clever. And then this following rubbish echo of the equally psychotic Rousseau, done poorly, I might add:

Look at the first line from Chapter one of The Social Contract:

"Everywhere man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

Anon: "[L]et them live undisturbed on the land of their ancestors; unexploited, free of the fear of expulsion; of ravishment and devastation; free of permits and roadblocks and checkpoints and crossings; of monstrous concrete walls, guard towers, concrete bunkers, and barbed wire; of tanks and prisons and torture and death. Why is life without these policies and instruments of hell impossible?"

A random sample to compare:

Rousseau, Discourses on Inequality:

"Natural man is not complicated.

Anon.:

"[T]he simple, impassioned and unaffected cries of the downtrodden...."]

Rousseau:

"I see him satisfying his hunger under an oak, quenching his thirst at the first stream, finding his bed under the same tree which has furnished his meal; and behold, his needs are satisfied."

Anon:

"[L]eave them alone to have their fish and their bread, their oranges, their olives and their thyme;..." ["Thyme/time." It's a cute pun, huh? Isn't it cute? Say it's cute.]

Were Anon.'s comments merely a cheap appeal to emotion, devoid of intellect and common sense, I would have passed over it like I do most sillinesses. In this particular case, the appeal to false emotion is so over-bearing and repugnant that I can't until now let it go without emphasizing that no real person should endure this without objection. This anon. is not a real person at all but one truly and deeply alienated from Humanness. Outrageous behaviour such as this demands an angry and outraged response from the public. The intolerable is not to be tolerated, even in a nation obsessed with the pseudo-intellectual fad of "tolerance." Disgusting is disgusting. And all the moreso in that it encourages some to escalate their primitive behaviours to the point they live in a thanatocracy. Encouraging murderers for the sake of ones vanity is a crime beyond my abilities to condemn it. The self-indulgent egoism of the anon. cheerleader above demands outrage. But this is my limit. There is no reasoning with a fool drunk on self-made emotion. I hope only that I have made plain my objections and reasons for them.

Anonymous said...

I'm a first-time commentor here, and have to agree with wilfr's observation that, "[M]aybe if everyone did a little more of the real and difficult work of looking more closely at our own motivations for needing to include moral outrage when exchanging viewpoints, it may help to encourage a more reasoned response from the likes of anon and others who disagree with us. I can't see that what either you or Dag have expressed here has done anything other than to aggravate the possibility for serious dialogue. Certainly I saw nothing that may give anon something to ponder, rather than respond in kind to, and anything I may have been educated by was obscured by the hostility I sensed."

The totally unreflexive self-righteous moral absolutism characterising many of the replies here ("thugs," "delusional," "bullshit," "people who can't come to terms with basic facts about reality" etc. is pretty off-putting, and doesn't encourage much in the way of further dialogue with you guys.

Dag said...

If you don't have any sense of right and wrong, why would we care to discuss anything with you?

wilfr said...

Truepeers,

I understand you have a point to make about those who stand on the other side of the issue, but I was not talking about that. That wasn't my point. My point was more about dialogue in general between opposing viewpoints, and how it is presented. Maybe it's not the time or place to try to make my point, but since I've opened my mouth, I'll continue and hopefully keep my foot out of it.

If anon is delusional and evil as you seem to be saying, what's the point of trying to explain his problems to him and expect him to act differently when in his delusional way, he probably feels as strongly as you do about his position? Why not just avoid a pointless battle, ignore him and offer up something to those of us who could learn from your knowledge of the history and facts?

I don't have a problem telling someone I think they are full of shit, or the need to confront "evil" as you call it, but from personal experience I know that it's much better for me if I take a more reasoned and less emotional approach to resolving issues. (I'm not disputing your first statement in your response to me, by the way...just trying to make a point about unhelpful emotion) I have a lot to learn yet about my own understanding of myself and my unhelpful emotions, but I see how it hampers my ability to debate issues with others, notwithstanding my lack of knowledge about any particular issue, which is another story. However, I guess I saw the comments you and Dag made, as similar to those of many other people out there in the "modern western world" who do have lots of worldly knowledge and communication skills and are attempting to inform or dispute or lead others, and yet don't seem to see the part of their responses to others that only keep unhelpful emotions flowing and obscuring any possibility of resolution.

"Sometimes evil needs to be put down. No one likes those times, but they do come." Did you mean this with respect to the actual Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or just in the context of this and other discussion you may be having about it, Truepeers? Regardless, I'd be interested in hearing how you see the conflict being resolved...and Dag as well, of course.

truepeers said...

Wilf,

You're right, in as much as no key opens all doors. But for that reason you can't expect any one comment to do what you would like. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.

There is a lot I would like to be able to do in terms of communicating ideas. I get about five percent of it done given the limits of daily life. If you want to have a conversation, this is not our blog and so we should go elsewhere. Here is the longest post I have written on the current Israel-Hamas situation. If there is anything people want to discuss in that, they can leave a comment there.

Ho do I see this conflict being resolved? Well, I see a desire for the elimination of Israel being so deeply ingrained in Arab culture; antisemitism is today pervasive and among Palestinians and many othern arabs the children are taught at the earliest ages that to die as a martyr in the Jihad is the greatest thing. This is on tv, in the schools, it's daily talk.

So, I am not optimistic. Frankly, i am not looking for any resolution in the short term, but rather our acceptance of the hard reality and the realization that if Israel is to survive - as I hope it will - it has to practice a hard game of deterrence and punishment in the hopes that over time this will teach some very basic, if primitive, form of reciprocity that will allow people to recognize their shared reality and move on from there. In the long run, I think the only solution will come when Arabs are increasingly alienated from those who would rule them by imposing a cult of war against the Infidel. Either that will happen, or Israel will eventually be destroyed, or Israel in fighting back will do horrific violence in defending itself.

Remember, the Jews claim but a small piece of land for themselves, whatever the exact borders should be. Arabs and Muslims control a huge chunk of the world's real estate. There were some real injustices involved in the founding of Israel, on both sides, though the Jews were basically immigrants who bought the land from the Arabs. Jews (and Christians) have been kicked out of their homes throughout the Muslim world; Israel has settled the refugee Jews (a greater number than the Palestinian refugees), but the Arab countries don't permanently settle the Palestinian "refugees" who left sixty years ago. They don't do it because they actively encourage the wound in order to focus their people's resentment at all that is wrong in their countries onto Israel.

But, as I say, there are injustices in history and there was a need for Israel to try and negotiate these and find some resolution. However, once one side finds real negotiations too antithetical to their own culture's highest religious dictates - e.g. that there can be no Jewish state in land considered Muslim, that there can be no such thing as a state in which Jews and Muslims share power, where Jews are not subservient dhimmis under Islamic law - and so instead of accepting hard realisitic negotiations that recognize the reality of Israel (it's military and economic success) but favoring instead to engage in a now Global Intifada, encouraging your young people to become "suicide" bombers, then the issue changes. It is no longer about negotiating past injustice but dealing with a pathological culture here and now. You forfet your right to have old grievances taken seriously.

I would like to go back to a golden age, when the Middle East and North Africa was dominated by Christianity (before Islam). But of course we cannot go back, we cannot change history because we don't like it's outcomes, its determining of winners and losers. Responsible people come to terms with reality as it exists on the ground today and ask not how we can go back but how we can go forward by increasing human reciprocity. What kind of world can possibly provide people the opportunities they need to overcome the hell of life in places like Gaza? That will take a commitment to modern values, economics, and individual freedom, whether or not the Arabs or Persians succeed in wiping Israel off the map. If they do succeed, that will not solve any of their real problems. They will still be living in a political fantasy at odds with the modern world.

wilfr said...

From your answer, I'm not sure I really made my point, but whatever, I'll have to keep working on my communication. Thanks for your responses Truepeers.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that your approach has sealed yourself off uinderstanding and therefore grasping with history and reality here. One point that keeps jumping out, apart from the ceaseless dehumanization of the Palestinians overall, is how "extremist" Hamas apparently is. Now, I hold no brief for Hamas; I've repeatedly criticized them, and have no love for their theocratic mindset (Israel has shown more support for Hamas than I could or ever would have). But "extremist" was once applied to the PLO, especially during the period of Fatah's moderation. Israel couldn't negotiate with them, their charter called for the elimination of Israel, they held civilians hostage and used them as human shields . . . all the same rhetoric we hear today about Hamas.

No sane observer would confuse Fatah for Hamas, yet in relevant periods of Palestinian history, both groups ostensibly behaved the exact same way toward the exact same end. It's a simple narrative to memorize, and can be applied to any form of Palestinian resistance, secular, religious, whatever. Thus, any Palestinian who resists a rational, moral agent like Israel must be hell bent on destruction, either for themselves, against the Jewish state, or most likely both. Keeping to this narrative helps one glide over numerous complexities, chiefly, regional history. It's an all purpose excuse, which is why it's been used for decades.

Since all "extremism" resides with the Palestinians (a genetic trait?), there's no need for Israeli state apologists to review Zionist comments about Palestinians being sub-human and diseased; no need to discuss "demographic time bomb" fears among Israeli politicians, their version of worrying about Mexican birth rates in the US; no need to unearth Zionist statements and charters calling for a Greater Israel, however unlikely that seems at the moment; no need to recall how the Israeli mainstream insisted that the Palestinians simply didn't exist -- they were an "invention of some Jews with distorted minds," as Golda Meir once put it; no need to be reminded of death squad leaders like Begin, Shamir, and Sharon, who became Israeli Prime Ministers. There's no need to do any of this. Why? Because Israel cannot be "extremist."

There's also the colossal disparity in body counts, a disparity openly embraced and excused by Israeli statists. To tell those who you have surrounded and outgunned that you will slaughter 100 of them for every single Israeli killed is not "extremist" -- it's how democracies function. This also holds true in weaponry. Qassam rockets with variable range and destructive capabilities: "extremist." F-16s, helicopter gunships, tanks, bunker busters and white phosphorus -- democratic. It's really quite simple once you learn the lingo.

For American supporters of Israeli violence, the use of "extremist" is even more inspired, especially when you recall some of the crazed reactions to the 9/11 attacks. If the United States was ever treated like Gaza, a Hamas-like reaction would doubtless be viewed by many Americans as appeasement. Qassam rockets? Fucking pacifists.

Anonymous said...

And since you as well as covenent zoners are particularly fascinated by protetors, muckracking journalist Max Blumethal has a wonderful video for you interviewing folks who support this assault

http://maxblumenthal.com/2009/01/547/

Dag said...

Wilf, if you were to ask me 'why my outright and more or less unrestrained hostility to the anonymous girl who was trolling here?' (not my blog either, by the way,) my response is that one need not be polite or tolerant of evil.

One need especially not be polite or tolerant of blatant, manipulative dishonesty meant for no other reason that to gratify the writer, in this case the girl who left her disgusting remarks here above. I showed where her remarks are objectively disgusting, and I hope that is clear to the honest reader.

It might be a "Canadian" trait to be polite in all circumstances, but it's not me, nor is it anything I respect. If one is as obscenely disgusting as the girl above, then she demands public refutation, even if it's rude. One need not defer to the hateful and vile, such as she is, again, as I think I have shown clearly above. A bellowing, belching drunk on a bus, for example, is not something to be tolerated, though I know Canadians do so. They also put up with disgusting, hate-mongering poseurs like the creepy commentator above out of the mistaken impression that to to object to anyone's non-violent behaviour is "un-Canadian" if it can be seen as insensitive to the whims of designated "Others." Rude? It might well be un-Canadian, and that is something perhaps Canadians should give some thought to as not bad at all. Maybe when wrong is not only intuitively wrong but demonstrably wrong, it is right to object-- even vocally and publicly. Maybe there comes a time when it's improper to do or to say nothing in the face of obscene outrage. Maybe appeasing creatures such as the one above gives public permission to all to act in equally obscene ways or even worse, to the endless detriment of all. Maybe some standing up to evil is long over-due, given that it seems many people don't even recognize there is such a thing as evil. Maybe it's time to learn the basics rather than the common mantras of the elitists who wish us all to live in a giant kindergaarten of their making for our own sakes, we being too dull to live our own lives of our own accords, we being-- rude.

Maybe it's time to say "No." And that so even if it's rude and doesn't cover the other point of view. Yes, maybe the drunk on the bus has good reason for his behaviour. Maybe he had a terrible childhood. Maybe, though, it really doesn't make a damned bit of difference. Maybe disgusting behaviour deserves a smash in the face; maybe just some rude yelling. But I find it unlikely that disgusting behaviour deserves respect and a fair hearing. It doesn't. Disgusting and evil are disgusting and evil. Either that or we all live in an ever-descending Hell of our own social idiocy.

Idiocy, by the way, is a Greek term referring to those who do not take part in the political decisions of their community. Those who won't stand up for their communities are doing all a major disservice, not objecting to evil, not objecting in the name of "diversity" and sharing and caring and pity and weeping over sad-eyed kittens painted on black velvet.

When I rage at an emotional leech like the one above who uses the deaths of real people to exercise her vanity, I get angry and disgusted, and I feel the need to make it known that it is intolerable to behave in such an evil way. I don't do so to relieve myself of frustration: I do so in the hope of making it known that others can and should and must demand civility from their fellows who are unrestrained as is she. Giving permission to evil to continue by remaining silent in the face of evil is not holy. If the charge is rudeness, that's a small private price to pay.

If no one stands up to these people, they will continue to bellow and belch on the bus of publicity. Look at how far this particular fool has gone: she has not an idea of her own, nor an emotion, all of her mind a rag-bag of junk collected from others which she presents as herself at her most moral. She is stupid, sir, and she has demonstrated it here for all to see, though many will not see it, if, that is, they do not first accept the fact of stupidity as an object state of mental capacity. Smart people can talk themselves into all kinds of lunacies. They can ,as an example, convince themselves that the girl above is worth reasoning with. She deserves no more respect than a fool shouting into a cell phone during a movie at a theater. The public is entitled to someone telling her to shut her filthy, evil mouth.

Someone must take that first step in telling these hate-filled morons to shut the fuck up. Not nice? So what? The alternative is a society where maniacs rule and intimidate the nation. I'm rude, and I don't care. I'm happier being rude than I would be living in a police state run by fascists who allow everything but reason and decency.

I'll conclude with this: That one of our primary rights as free people is our right to personal responsibility.

I have a restricted vocabulary. I use the same terms over and over. I use for example, the term "infantalization." To take away a person's responsibility is to turn that person into a child, into an infant. To abrogate ones responsibility is to enslave oneself to the power of others from lack of core being. A whole nation that does so is doomed to control by fascist elites. One either stands up as a responsible adult and demands ones right to responsibility or one is not really Human at all. A hollow man, as T.S. Eliot puts it so nicely.

Everything about the girl above is phony. The fact that she didn't even respond in kind is a show of her phoniness: she is "above" all that. But no; no one is above that kind of attack. To pretend one is is to lie, which she did from start to finish; and I don't put up with such. She is a phony, lying, evil piece of shit.

I have a responsibility to make a statement like that. If because I make that claim another does the same, maybe next time she'll refrain from encouraging lunatics to murder children at random. I can't say either way, but I won't stop just because it might make me look nasty or angry. I don't care about the opinions of other if it would prevent me from pursuing the truth and something like a better justice. I have a responsibility to myself as an adult and as a free man to do right for my community, for all of Mankind. I take that responsibility seriously, even if I'm forced to be rude and even if I upset people for being so. Life is tough.

But what about the opinion of others who might not like my tone? I don't care about popularity. People who can't distinguish between evil condemned harshly and evil itself are not important to me. Many people in Canada are intimidated by the constant hectoring of the type above, the sanctimonious and lying garbage people who substitute false emotion for intelligence. Fair enough. Most people want to get along in the world an they do so by behaving politely, even in the face of outright evil. I'm not that nice a guy. And I don't care. Those who are nicer than I, those are people I usually take on as friends, when they have me. You might be surprised how often that happens.

Anonymous said...

What a bizarrely incoherant, weird rant which is wholly and completely disconnected to anything that I wrote. All those words for what use. I`ve discovered that I`m evil, vain, emotional while I`m oddly assumed to be a girl`. Creepy

truepeers said...

LOL, now I think I see Wilf's point, thanks to Dag's passionate reiteration: there is a difference between calling out evil and re-presenting that call for all and sundry. The latter should have some concern for its audience's need to know-:). Our choice is not always or often between rudeness and a police state. Civil society has its own reason which needs to be respected.

Anyway, now our Anon has moved on, ignoring any of our specific arguments to babble on about "narratives" which s/he identifies (she may not be a she, but Dag is reasonable to guess it since her approach to the sacred is matriarchal...) largely in terms of the lonely sign, "extremist" (which apparently tells a story we are all supposed to know) which she seems to find serves no purpose other than to victimize the Other.

Well, who knows, but, fwiw, it doesn't remind me of any narrative I tell. I tend to see Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood of which it is an extension, as attempting a return to some kind of Islamic orthodoxy. In Islamic terms, the more secular party is the extremist one. In the terms of my defense of modernity, Hamas is not obviously "extremist", just primitive, barbarous, antithetical to the global order as it presently exists. I don't know how "easy" this narrative is to tell - the description and defense of modernity can get very complicated - but in its bare bone forms it is a fair approximation of the truth.

Of course that's a form of Othering on my part. So what? Humans can do nothing else with their language. Our Other does it to us; inevitably we can only respond somewhat in kind. That's not a scandal, or shouldn't be. It's a simple recognition of the given reality from which any kind of hoped-for reciprocity has to start.

So what kind of moral authority should we give to the one who would stand above all that, endlessly deconstructing every potentially useful distinction that would pit x against y? and then, in her own will to power, taking the side of the "victim" of the stronger party, as an unquestioned moral necessity? Well, I would say that is a nihilist immorality that implicitly wishes to advance the barbarous at the cause of the more modern, e.g. the more capable (not just militarily) of feeding and sheltering and clothing and doing all the banal things that are good in a world of billions, not to mention sustaining individual freedom and isolating people all too well from certain hard realities of the more primitive life.

Anon then offers some incoherent babble about disaparities in death counts. What matters, surely, is not what the Global Intifada presently can achieve, but what it aims to achieve: the destruction of the global economy and the freedoms associated with it, in the name of a return to a more primitive order of Sharia and Caliphate. Since such an order could never provide for the freedom, science, and economic dynamism necessary to feed anywhere near the present population of the world, it is a position that positively requires mass death, not least among Muslims. That it has yet failed to realize this is no reason to consider it morally superior to those all the more capable in modern arms.

And in any moral calculation it really does matter who would like to see the violence stop and who would not. Israel as a modern society does not need to be at war as a matter of social organization. It would be much happier spending its money on non-military pursuits. Just because it can defend itself with modern arms with deadly effectiveness does not make it immoral. What is immoral is those who refuse to recognize the need to move beyond organizing and encouraging societies as thugocracies, which not to put too fine a point on it is a fair enough description for the tyrannical dictatorships that, with the exception of today's Iraq, and, to a limited degree, (Christian) parts of Lebanon, is the order of the day in every Arab state. The Arabs have been at war with Israel continuously since before Israel even came into existence. Because they are hopeless at modern warfare, always losing, should we consider them more moral than those who would much rather be spending time at the beach with family than fighting effectively with F-16s? Well, if we are really concerned about the suffering of the Arab people, it is the Arab culture that should concern us, not the Israeli capacity. But then our anon. is naive enough to think there was some golden age before some damned Jew came and stomped on the Thyme plant.

In any case, Israel has not "surrounded" the Palestinians. The Palestinians are rather sandwiched between Israel and Arab nations that show no desire to take them in. That is the scandal that any one with a shred of moral decency would discuss.

As I mentioned above, few Iraelis any longer want any responsibility for the Palestinian people, for obvious reasons: they don't like interminable conflict. If it could, Israel would do with the economically destitute Arabs what we in the West do with Africa: we don't "dominate" it; we barely remember it exists. That may be a sin in its own way, but it has nothing to do with the fantasy of domination that our anon can't get her mind around. Reality is optional when you are more interested in deconstructing signs than in what they help us see.

truepeers said...

Heh, it turns out that Dag and I have been getting all hot and bothered about a bloody plagiarist, the anon commenter above. Back in my day, you got an automatic fail for this kind of behaviour, and risked being expelled. I say bring it back.

http://www.counterpunch.org/loewenstein01012009.html

Dag said...

That's hilarious, in a sick kind of way. I spotted a different "anonymous" writer, assuming there were two, based on the 'literate' style of the second "anon." But to see now that they are the same is too funny!

Oh, no wonder she's anonymous. she's likely even scraped the "Anonymous" name off the rock she lives under.

I laugh. How low they go.

Dag said...

Here's the real anon in the lower part of this discussion:

Israel Has No Intention of Granting a Palestinian State
If Hamas Did Not Exist

By JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN

"...."

Laugh? I think I'm going to pass out.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dag:

Alas, you are wrong regarding your anons. There are indeed two, with me being the second, "literate" one.

Dag said...

It's not my blog, and I'm not checking or having checked the details of commentators to sort out who is or isn't lying about this or that. As it stands now, I don't believe much I'm reading from the anonymous crowd, not even you, Jennifer. If you'd identitisfied yourself as the writer of your own piece, then I would have taken you somewhat seriously, but not now.

Dag said...

Jennifer, it is so amazing that you wrote above that you are the anonymous person who included part of one of your articles on Israel here. We thought briefly that you had been plagiarized by an idiot, but it turns out you had plagiarized yourself! How mistaken we can be at times. And funnier yet is that you didn't take credit for writing what some call Jew-hatred:

"While Hamas-fired rockets bombard southern Israel, foreign critics condemn Israel's defensive reprisal as a human rights atrocity against the Palestinians. This reflexively anti-Israel tendency is particularly pronounced in Western academia, a point illustrated in the current conflict by the case of Jennifer Loewenstein, the Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Though Jewish, Loewenstein harbors a caustic hatred for Israel, a nation she views as an illegitimate entity with no right to exist. At the same time, she sees Palestinians as innocents, relentlessly oppressed and brutalized by violent, sadistic Jews. Both themes feature in an article that Loewenstein wrote on January 2, entitled "If Hamas Did Not Exist." "

John Perazzo, "Academic Jew-Hater," FrontPageMagazine.com. January 16, 2009.

Jennifer, you being a professional academic, you'll realize that my pedantic and bourgeois affectation of citing authors and bibliographic details stems from my co-option into the capitalist hegemony wherein I have lost my mind and given it over to the great conspiracy of The Jooos; but you'll also know that's just how it is among academic types of all sorts, plagiarism being, even for you, a dirty stunt to pull.

Next time, Jennifer/Anon, that you write a comment here, please don't be so shy: sign your name so we know you're not a plagiarist after all. Otherwise it sure does look like you're stealing someone else's work and presenting it as your own, which we all take to be pretty disgusting.

truepeers said...

Yeah, but what is self-"plagiarism" if you're a self-hating Jew?

Dag said...

There's probably nothing a person like the professor at MESA would find too repugnant to excuse, though there are likely many thing she'd never do herself. I've met lots of both over the course of the years, those who will excuse any outrage, and I mean there is no bottom to the evil they'll argue away for the sake of the cause; and I've met some pretty nasty folks,in all, though none who'd go so far as to kill their own children for the cause. But I have met those who would kill their own children, I just never stayed with them long enough to know exactly that they do or did or would. I've met them in their dormant states. The worst are those who act as voyeur and cheerleaders, such as the MESA prof., a parasite who lives n the death of others. To such as her and the insane creature above, Amy, there is no bottom.

However, I suspect that the idiot who posted the plagiarized copy is definitely not Jennifer herself but merely an idiot who tried to defend one from plagiarism by unknowingly admitting it herself. Such is the level of intelligence of the people on the Left. I mocked the fool who admitted the plagiarism by calling her Jennifer, but she or he or it could be any fool at all, though really not likely Jennifer herself. Still, Jennifer, if she'll take time away from the Jew-baiting can come here or Covenant Zone and spew her up-scale hatred to her black-hearted content. The more we see of these people the better it is. To know them is to be sickened by them.